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Faith in a Long Shot

Faith in a Long Shot

3.8 41
by Joanna Campbell, Alice Leonhardt, Alice Leonhardt

 Will it be victory – or tragedy – when Triple Crown fever hits the Thoroughbred series?

When Image comes in second in the Florida Derby, Melanie and Jazz decide to enter her in the Kentucky Derby. Image has proven she has what it takes to win against colts. But competition will be tough. Image will be running against Wonder's Star,


 Will it be victory – or tragedy – when Triple Crown fever hits the Thoroughbred series?

When Image comes in second in the Florida Derby, Melanie and Jazz decide to enter her in the Kentucky Derby. Image has proven she has what it takes to win against colts. But competition will be tough. Image will be running against Wonder's Star, Gratis, and Celtic Mist. Will the race to win the Derby be Star's greatest success?

Ages 8+

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Thoroughbred Series , #57
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Samantha McLean's heart swelled with happiness as she studied the sleek chestnut yearling circling the walking ring at Townsend Acres. The colt's breath misted in the crisp October early morning air, and his powerful muscles rippled under his copper coat. He trotted at the end of a longe line around the perimeter of the ring for the training groom, his neck arched as though he was aware of his four admirers, who were standing at the opening of the walled outdoor ring beside the training stables.

Samantha's lightly freckled face was bright as she watched. The red of her shoulder-length hair nearly matched the color of the graceful colt in the ring. She turned to the colt's half-owner, Ashleigh Griffen. "He"s looking good, isn't he?" she said, her voice full of excitement.

Ashleigh nodded and smiled. "'And he's learning so fast! I really wish I could spend more time over here to watch his progress. I thought it would be easier now that I'm in college, but it"s not. You're doing a great job with him, though, Sammy."

Samantha beamed at the compliment. She loved Wonder's Pride as if he were her own, and she was deliriously happy that Ashleigh had asked her to be the yearling's groom. She knew that Ashleigh still regretted that her family had to move away from Townsend Acres the year before. The Griffens had been the breeding managers at the huge Kentucky breeding and training farm for four years, but then they decided to buy their own small breeding farm on the other side of Lexington. Because there were no training facilities on their new farm, Ashleigh had to drive nearly twenty miles to Townsend Acres to visit her champion mare,Wonder, and oversee the training of her three-year-old filly, Fleet Goddess, whom Samantha also groomed and rode for workouts.

"I like the colt's movement," agreed Samantha's father, the assistant trainer at Townsend Acres. "Of course , I wasn't around to see Wonder in training, but I'd say Pride has his dam's potential."

"'More mature than she was at his age," said Charlie Burke. The old trainer pulled down the brim of his battered felt hat to shade his eyes from the morning sun. It had been with Charlie's help that Ashleigh had transformed Wonder from a sickly foal into a champion. "'Wonder had a rough first year-they didn't think much of her around the farm. It's different with this guy. Clay Townsend's maybe being a little too optimistic, though. This fella's got good energy and a nice straight leg, but no one will know if he's got Wonder's courage until he gets out on the track and into serious training."

"He's got courage," Samantha said firmly. "When he's in the paddock with the other yearlings, he definitely lets them know who's boss. No one pushes him around."

Charlie just scowled, but Samantha knew that didn't mean anything. The old trainer never let his real feelings show.

Samantha turned her attention back to the ring. Wonder's Pride was still striding easily on long, slender legs. Training on a longe fine was important in teaching a young horse to walk, trot, and. canter on command. From there, the yearling would be asked to do the same under tack, and then with a rider in his saddle. After that the horse would be taken out on the oval for more intensive training in preparation for competing on a racetrack.

The rays of sunlight slipping through the trees glinted off Pride's polished copper coat, accentuating the ripple of his muscles. With each bob of his head, his silky mane flew. At a year and a half, he still had some growing to do, but already he stood. close to sixteen hands. Samantha knew he was going to be a big horse.

"He's got all the right stuff, Charlie," Samantha called over to the old trainer, "and the bloodlines!"

"'I've seen some perfectly bred horses that were flops at the track," Charlie answered.

Ashleigh shook her head and laughed. "Charlie, you're just itching for another star, and you know he could be it!"

"We'll see," Charlie said. "So, did you work Fleet Goddess on the Keeneland track yesterday?" he asked Ashleigh.

"I breezed her a half mile and galloped her out another four furlongs. She was raring to go. I'd say she's ready for the race tomorrow."

"Sammy and I are driving over in the morning," Ian McLean said. "You're welcome to ride along with us, Charlie."

"Yup. Sounds good. Saves Ashleigh from coming over here to pick me up."

"And if Goddess wins tomorrow," Samantha said, "it"s on to the Breeders' Cup!"

"First she's got to win," Charlie reminded her.

Samantha didn't need to be reminded that there had been ups and downs for Fleet Goddess during the past year. The filly had started off her three-year-old season by winning two allowance races. Then Ashleigh had decided to point her toward the Triple Tiara, a series of races for fillies held in the late spring and early summer. But during a workout in April, Fleet Goddess had pulled a tendon. The injury had kept her out of training for a month, and she'd returned to the track just in time to win the last race of the Triple Tiara...

Thoroughbred #06: Wonder's Yearling. Copyright © by Joanna Campbell. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Joanna Campbell appears here with her six-year-old Thoroughbred, Meyersville Magic, known around the barn as CC. He's a son of Horatius out of Northwich by Timothy's Champ and is owned by Cathy Day. Formerly trained for racing, he is now being trained for eventing. Last Year he was the Maine Entry Level Champion in Combined Training.

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Faith in a Long Shot 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Lily11 More than 1 year ago
I am really glad that image won the derby! I don't think it is fair that she broke a leg. Now she can never race again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the books, but I think the author adds way to many new characters, and doesn't stay with the main ones that much, I miss reading about Ashleigh!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bethany, A STAR FAN, so you know 3 fillies have won the ky derby and they would have set foot on the track to be able to win and if star had won the series wouldn't have been entertaining but image winning and falling really added to it
Guest More than 1 year ago
Its okay that Image wins the Derby, but I was really hoping that Star had won the Triple Crown. Image is cool. I don't like the fact that it was completly unrealistic that she ran in the Kentucky Derby!!!!!! I mean, she has a really sucky race record. But other than that, I'm fine with the outcome in this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wish that Star would have one. I mean, Image was disqualified from her first race, won the next, and came in second in the Florida derby! And Star has one more than one race! At least Image breaks her leg. Nothing against Image though. Its just that she would pose a threat to Wonders Star in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. Image is actually really cool. I like her a lot. Its just Melanie. Don't get me wrong, I like Mel a lot too, but all she thinks about is Image. I really wish that Star had won the Triple Crown. And that he was a filly. But I really wish that he won the Triple Crown(Nuttin against Image).
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is really not fair. Why does Image have to get hurt? And also, why is everyone always saying Mel is such a brat? Image deserved to win the race. She was the fastest horse. Period. The thing is, if you've read all the books you'd know that Christina has this odd problem where she thinks Star is the best. Hello! Star has never been brilliant, in any of the books. Chris is always the one who has a problem with Image being famous, not the other way around. Get your facts straight.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Okay, I dont have a problem with either Mel, or Chris, I think there both fine, and i'm not taking either sides cause I think there both brats! Anyway I was really writing to say that doesn't it ever make you wonder, how they stay fit, I know girls are smaller than guys, but still, I mean like in this book, Chris is eating popcorn, I mean I know thats not bad, but they never mention any kind of diet that they go on, or make any atempt to keep weight down. I wonder about that, I think the authors should take that into thought on there next book. Happy Trails
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mel deserved to win if she had the fastest horse out there, who cares how much Star deserved it, he didn't deserve it any more than Gratis did. If he wasn't faster than Image, then well thats really just means Chris has a problem with losing. And all you people who say that Mel is a brat, Hello take a look at Chris? Shes always mad at Mel and Mel is always mad at Chris, can you not see a resemblance between them? Other than that I loved this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so sad and so great. I started crying, I'm glad Image won. Chris is so self obsorbed. Who agrees with me?
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was awesome it was very good i am glad image won because that was heer last race ever!!!! chris and mel fight alot chris and parker get a little closer!!!!!!!!!!!got to jet or g2j **Emily**
Guest More than 1 year ago
Everyone!Look I'm sorry if I insulted anyone by what I wrote.I was just so mad that Mel won I had to blow off some steam.And just to let you know I have nothing against Image.She's cool and I'm glad she gets to live.It's just Mel I have things against.Sorry
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't believe that Melanie the BRAT won!!!!!!!!!!!When Mel frist made her appearence in this series I loved her.But about the third Image book I was beginning to notice a change in Mel.She was turning from a cool ,spunky girl into a spoiled brat.I admit that Chris getting into that accident on Raven was pretty stupid,but in book #53 Mel said she forgave Chris after she bought her the gift.But all the sudden in this book Mel said she still hadn't quite forgiven Chris yet!Such a Brat!!And what really made me mad was when Mel said that all Chris thinks about is STAR STAR STAR.Well all she thinks about is IMAGE IMAGE IMAGE!Star really should have won the Derby.What makes me feel better is that in R/L Image wouldn't have been able to set a hoof on the track on Derby day.Any way I just want to say that you guys who think Mel and Image should come back and win the rest of the TC are down right crazy,and those of you who think Star and Chris should win the rest obviously know who DESERVES to win.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't believe those bonehead authors let Melanie win!Chris and Star totally should have won.And those of you that think they're brats and stuff like that you are crazy!Melanie is the brat!Sure,Mel almost lost Image to Brad Townsend,but Chris almost lost Star to die!!!I'm sorry Image broke a leg and all but Chris and Star deserves to win!!Melanie sat on her but and watched Jazz and Will do all the work!!And I don't understand why the authors had Parker and Chris brake up.Melanie doesen't even deserve to have Jazz as a friend!!!!Melanie is a spoiled little BRAT!!!!!!!!!!!!Like I said Star and Chris should have won!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I heard Star didn't win the Derby!!! I am so mad! I mean, granted, Christina does get everything she could possibly want but it wasnt her i wanted to win it was Star. He totally deserved it. It would have been a little unreal if he did however because of that illness he had. But being that Image won she shouldn't have gotten injured. I mean she should go and win the TC. I am really dissappointed there wont be a TC winner. I hope there one this year in R/L. They all look good this year. I think the author made a big mistake not having star win any way because i think everyone was rooting for him.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's one of the best books in the Thoroughbred Series! I Really Recommend Faith in a Long Shot!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think Star should just drop out! Image should get better and race again in the Preakness and the Belmont. She was my fav!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of the best books in the TB series..i swear i freaked with Faith hurt herself ...freaked sum more when Melanie wanted her put down..and cried when i found she was still alive... man i get into these books too much..i feel like i know the charachters.. i kinda wanted star to win tho.. O WELL! DARN GOOD BOOK!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My first and main point is that it lack originality. The story is almost identical to Ruffian's. i got soooo mad at the Ruffian story in the mix of the book. This great black filly takes on the colts, they build up a HUGE boy vs girl theme, and then bam, the filly breaks down. I was sooo mad, it was so cliche! For that reason, i am happy she lived, if they put her down it would have been almost identical to Ruffian's story (cept it wasn't a match race and all that). The Ruffian part really annoyed me. the fact that mel went to TA and Chris thought it was cause mel was too good for them was greatly expected, easily predictable. Second, there were some fact mix ups. They say that Image would be the fourth serious filly contender for the derby, and she would be only the fourth filly to win... so i am assuming that they were counting Regret, Winning Colors, and Genuine Risk.... but through out the series... didn't Wonder win the derby?? And if they are going to bring real life into the books then there have been other serious female competators. Also, Image went off at odds of 20-1!!!! Yet the called her serious competition, if she was she should have had much smaller odds. Also, how would whitebrook not be able to handle the press? They are a huge farm, and incredibly famous. Champion won the Triple Crown!! They would have had more press than what they would have had about Image running in the Derby, its not that big of a deal anyways to have a filly in the derby anymore. It was built up unrealistically. I am happy Image won though, i would have been so mad if perfect Christina and perfect Star the spoild duo won.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Oh! My! gosh! i loved this book! It is one of the best TB books! I cryed so hard!! Oh it was so good though i recamend all TB books for all horse lovers! This book reminded me when my horse was going to be put down but then they found something that would help her and oh! this book is so touching and dosen't have the really really sad and depressing ending!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to admit that Image winning the Derby was cool. I was very sad about her accident. But what about Star? I have loved him from his very first appearance in the Thoroughbred books. I have a hard time believing that after playing up the Derby so much, it was over in, like, one chapter. I also can't believe how the author just gave up on Star and concentrated on Image. I was pretty disapointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was good, but I have to agree with you others, that the plot isn't what it used to be. I believe it's because there are too many different authors writting them. I think Joanna Campbell needs to go back to writting them HERSELF if she wants the series to last.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best TB book ever! Unquestionably! It was sooooo wonderful and touching. I cried so hard. I couldn't believe what happened. And I never cry in books. This book is REALLY special. After the end, I was laughing and crying. I loved it. TB's has been on a downward spiral lately, but it is so BACK and has never been better!!!!!!!!!!!! TB FOREVER!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
People, Faith in a Long Shot, it is not that hard to figure out. Faith is not a horse or a person, would something like Image in a Long Shot even make sense? No! It is called Faith in a long shot because Image is a long shot, and Mel has to have faith in her. Also, I have NO IDEA why the silks are blue and red, jazz's colors are green and white... not blue and red. But the covers of the books have really stunk recentally, so you can not make any infrences from them.I do believe it is supposed to be mel and image on the cover though.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this book because of its surprise ending but for the most part, the characters have taken a turn for the worst and the plot lines from earlier books have been completely abandoned! I have been reading this series since its conception and I am now 23 years old. I loved this series in the beginning but now have started to loose faith in it. I didn't care who won the Derby, I just wanted them to write about it!!!! We waited through so many books that just drew out the plot and gave us needless information and caused needless fights between everyone who was competing in it. And when did they decide to start changing names of horses? Wonder's Pride is now Townsend Pride and Townsend Prince was listed in an earlier book to have been Wonder's Star's sire (I thought his sire was Jazzman) I wish that the authors we required to read the entire series and correct their plot discrepancies. Anyone who agrees with me, please e-mail me and include any other plot discrepancies that you have noticed!
Guest More than 1 year ago
You guys, the Title Faith in a Long Shot does not come from a horse or person named Faith. Melanie had to have Faith in Image to believe that Image and her would win the Derby even though nobody else thought they could win. In A Long Shot means that Image was a long shot to win, she didn't have very good odds of winning, so Melanie has to have Faith in her. If you're still confused email me. I love to talk about horses.